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H&R Bud

A certified public accountant walks into a bar . . .

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The idea to do people’s income taxes in bars seemed a no-brainer to Carmine Sodora, a 28-year-old CPA. “No matter what’s going on in the economy, you’re going to need an accountant. And no matter what’s going on in the economy, you’re going to want to drink,” he reasoned. So, last Tuesday night, Sodora and his laptop and laser printer were installed in the back room of Jimmy’s on East 7th Street. He’ll do your dirty work in about half an hour, for $80 to $120, while you guzzle. (You just can’t be totally sloshed.) He also says he won’t drink while he works. At least not much. “I’m a professional,” he said, taking a sip of Pilsner. “Oh, this one doesn’t count.”

This evening, Sodora’s first client was Eleni Beja, a children’s-book editor, who had seen a flyer for Sodora’s bar service. “I thought my friends could have a Guinness while I did my taxes. I like to multitask,” she said. At nine, Oscar Vazquez, an orthopedic surgeon, came in. Sodora was halfway through preparing Vazquez’s returns when a troupe of burlesque dancers arrived to rehearse. They spoke briefly with Sodora before turning down the lights and turning up Sarah Vaughn’s “Make Yourself Comfortable.” One of them, in thigh-high boots, opera gloves, and a red dress, told Sodora she’d filed for an extension. Then she took the stage and stripped to her fishnets and lace underthings. Ten feet away, Sodora, pens tucked behind both ears, kept punching in numbers, hardly looking up. He was instructing Vazquez on how to make out his check when the dancer crossed her arms over her bare breasts and shrieked, “I forgot my pasties!”

“Last year, I just went to some guy uptown,” Vazquez said, smiling even as he paid. “No one forgot their pasties.”


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